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Intel earlier this month offered a top HP executive a high-level management position at Intel, despite the chipmaker’s tendency to promote from within, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
Intel reportedly pursued Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group, who eventually decided to remain at HP. Bradley was often mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Mark Hurd as CEO at HP. Instead the CEO post went to Leo Apotheker, an HP outsider and former CEO of software firm SAP AG, who now faces the task of retaining those executives who were in the running for HP’s chief executive position.
Intel potentially faces a similar situation as it considers bringing in executive talent from outside in order to broaden the company’s portfolio and prepare for CEO Paul Otellini’s expected retirement at age 65. Otellini -- who came up through the ranks at Intel himself -- is 60 years old.
Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Northern Computer Technologies, a Burnsville, Minn.-based system builder and Intel partner, said Intel’s interest in executives outside the company makes sense given industry trends toward mobile over on-site computing and migration to the cloud. “It makes sense to me that they’re looking for new blood, because it looks like the landscape is changing so rapidly,” he said. “It wouldn’t hurt for them to get some new opinions from outside.”
According to the report, Intel is under pressure from investors to show that it’s making progress in the hot smartphone and tablet markets, especially as rivals Nvidia and ARM work together to challenge Intel in the desktop and server markets. Bradley’s experience as former chief executive of Palm prior to joining HP in 2006 could be useful to Intel as it seeks, in turn, to challenge ARM in the mobile market.
However, according to Swank, an HP executive may not offer the greatest departure from Intel’s current thinking. “HP is not that far of a stretch for Intel, since HP has obviously been a customer of Intel’s for a long-time and have shared Intel’s vision of the technology landscape for a long time,” Swank said. “They could have looked for someone from a completely different field, someone from a company that isn’t on the x86 architecture. But HP has had a lot of synergy with Intel in its marketing and product roadmaps.”